Interior views of an ice cave at the Mendenhall Glacier on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Interior views of an ice cave at the Mendenhall Glacier on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Fire department responds to emergency call for injured hiker at ice cave

Emergency assist ongoing through Sunday evening

The Capital City Fire/Rescue was called for an emergency situation at the Mendenhall Glacier Sunday evening.

Someone fell in the ice caves, and responders were assisting as of 3:56 p.m. Sunday, Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto said.

Martha Rubi Marrs said she was at the ice caves when the incident happened, and that she was the one who called 911.

“There was this young couple in their 20s at the entrance of the ice caves when me and two friends came out from the caves,” Marrs said in a Facebook conversation with the Empire. “They asked me how it was inside and if they would have to crawl. I told them that it was beautiful inside, but definitely there were areas that they would need to crawl or crouch. The young lady entered and she fell, but she didn’t get hurt. She stood up and the guy followed her, but he also fell, hurting himself.”

Marrs said that after the man fell down, he wasn’t able to stand up. She said it was obvious that he was injured because although he was conscious, he was not responsive and she said he looked very pale.

She said he was only wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

“I realized at that moment that he was going to need help,” Marrs said. “So I called 911 and explained the situation.”

She said she gave him water and a blanket until emergency services arrived and took over.

“He was at the furthermost ice cave from the glacier,” Quinto said on Monday. “Fortunately he was able to walk down to the lake and we transferred him across.”

Quinto said the man declined medical treatment and transport and was able to go home.

Capital City Fire/Rescue assists with an emergency call at the Mendenhall Glacier ice cave on March 3, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Capital City Fire/Rescue assists with an emergency call at the Mendenhall Glacier ice cave on March 3, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

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